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[ENG] 1ogether, a statement of P

June 10, 2019

1ogether; Co-choreographers: Pewan Chow, Chan Hui Ling Gabbie, Kwok Hui Ling Elaine, Lai Yi-ting Elyse, Leung Tsz Yan Cherry, Lo Sze Long Sarah, Antoinette Mak, Pandora Sin, Liz Tsui, Wong Sze Ling, Cally Yip; Photo: KaLam

 

Passoverdance was established in 1993 and has been restructuring since 2008. It is undeniable that the company is part of the map of Hong Kong’s dance scene. To mark the 10th anniversary of this restructuring, Passoverdance staged 1ogether in the Black Box Theatre of Kwai Tsing Theatre. The 10 dance artists of this piece each have a vivid history with the company. Some were dancers from their previous works. Some are tutors of their dance training courses. And a few have even managed the administrative work of the company.

 

The work structured in four acts interestingly begins with Act IV. Antoinette Mak moves slowly with sure-footed stability. Sze-ling Wong then enters the stage and follows Antoinette’s movement. At a certain point, it becomes ambiguous who the leader is and who the follower is. They both affect each other. This scene reminds me of the ending of both Maze (2012) & Maze: Pushing Boundaries (2018). Then another dancer joins the duet and repeats movements as if to intensify the relationship between Sze-ling and Antoinette. The other dancers join one after another, until all ten of them are all on the stage, moving together as they inhale and exhale. The dancers’ focus on the inner-self and openness to the outer space creates an atmosphere of intense concentration. Pewan Chow explained that Act IV attempts to reveal a heightened state of consciousness. However, the troupe is a few steps away from this state, where some dancers peek at other dancers and were not fully immersed in the dance.

 

Followed by a blackout after Act IV, six dancers enter the stage again, each with a BOSU (an inflated rubber hemisphere). Pandora Sin stands in the centre and gives a series of instructions on basic movements. In this Act I, Pewan intends to show an early stage in a dancer’s career and indicate other developmental aspects. The movements themselves are not hard for the dancers, the difficulty lies in trying to find the balance on the BOSU. Whenever a dancer falls from the BOSU, she moves towards the stage centre. Building up to a certain crescendo, Sze-ling Wong falls near the centre, and another dancer holds her BOSU. The unstable atmosphere dissolves through the support of the other dancers. Dancers stream onto the stage like currents, encountering and supporting each other with different body parts.

1ogether; Co-choreographers: Pewan Chow, Chan Hui Ling Gabbie, Kwok Hui Ling Elaine, Lai Yi-ting Elyse, Leung Tsz Yan Cherry, Lo Sze Long Sarah, Antoinette Mak, Pandora Sin, Liz Tsui, Wong Sze Ling, Cally Yip; Photo: KaLam

 

If one is a regular audience member of Passoverdance productions, he or she may find traces of other works of Pewan Chow in 1ogether. The current production holds no surprise yet does convey the belief that Pewan upholds. Support amongst each other is a valuable and beautiful thing, whether it be in dance, in a relationship or in one’s life. Watching the weight transferences amongst these ten dancers is indeed emotionally engaging and touching.

 

The work is then energised by Act III where different dancers become the conductor of the troupe. They take turns to lead, direct or even manipulate the movements of other dancers. Through the choices that different dancers take, not only does the audience see the dancers as performers, but they also see the personalities of each of them. I particularly enjoyed watching this act, surprised by the variety of movements especially as some are quite challenging. The organic choreography that seasons the piece is based on Pewan’s aesthetics. This act somehow echoes with what Passoverdance has been working on over the years. The company has provided different opportunities to new choreographers, ranging from the company’s resident artists to the young aspiring choreographers. However, the vitality of the piece breaks down when the ensemble ends with a phrase similar to Act IV and finishing with a looping structure to the work.

 

The performance that I watched was a matinee for secondary school students. Pewan Chow held a post-performance discussion amongst the students. It was inspiring to see how Pewan encouraged students to assert their courage, as well as acknowledging and expressing their personal feelings on how the piece affected them.

 

1ogether does not only mark the 10th anniversary of the company but also demonstrates the style of Passoverdance and the vision of Pewan Chow. There are all kinds of people and dancers. Passoverdance provides their dancers with opportunities to develop their potentials and to realize their ideals. It is touching to see how unique individuals can embrace and support one and other.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fung Hin-fung

M.Phil in Philosophy, specializing in Kant’s philosophy and aesthetics, a freelance writer and art administrator.

 

1ogether

Artistic Director & Co-choreographer: Pewan Chow

Co-choreographers & Dancers: Chan Hui Ling Gabbie, Kwok Hui Ling Elaine, Lai Yi-ting Elyse, Leung Tsz Yan Cherry, Lo Sze Long Sarah, Antoinette Mak, Pandora Sin, Liz Tsui, Wong Sze Ling, Cally Yip

 

Performance: 12 April 15:00 (Student Matinee) Black Box Theatre, Kwai Tsing Theatre

 

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